RBG (PG)

Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, RBG highlights the road to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1993 Supreme Court Appointment and the recent “fandemonium” surrounding this living, historic figure. The film features clips from Gisburg’s hearings, many pictures and video of her personal life, as well as commentary from family, friends, former colleagues and associates.

Ginsburg’s life plays out like a divine plan specifically designed for her in order to lead her to sit on the highest Court in the Land. There are some people for whom life simply works out and Ginsburg appears to be one of these people.  Not that her life was without adversity, but everything that she experienced throughout the course of her personal life and career, including heartache and rejection, seemed to happen to serve a larger purpose. Ginsburg’s life is the perfect demonstration of the saying that success is where preparation meets opportunity, and when the opportunity arose, this woman was prepared.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dynamic and tough as nails without being loud, bossy, assuming or overbearing. She operates with such composure and drive, it is impossible she not be dubbed a hero after watching this film. Given her quiet demeanor, to attend and emerge from law school at a time when women becoming lawyers wasn’t even a consideration, and then go on and accomplish all she has accomplished, is praiseworthy, to say the least.

The thing I admire most about Ginsburg is the same thing I admire most about my own daughter; what I call her “charmed” work ethic. If I’ve never mentioned it (and I find it very hard to believe I haven’t up until now because I tell every person I meet, pretty much; at the supermarket, on the subway, at social events, at work, on the street, to acquaintances and random strangers alike… Give me an opening and I will slip it right into the conversation as casually as most people discuss the weather), I have a double Ivy Leaguer at home – Yale undergrad, Harvard Law School grad, about to take the bar exam next week! (No “luck” need be wished for the exam. Similarly to Ruth, this woman was built for this!). The thing I admire most and why I refer to the work ethic as “charmed” is because she achieves great things that most people consider daunting and makes them look effortless, despite there being much work behind the accomplishments.

RBG shows many elements and facets of Ginsburg’s life, her childhood and youth, her marriage, her parenting style from her children’s perspective, her drive and the adjustments she had to make throughout her education and career, her relationship with her granddaughter, her professional relationships, etc.; so, we get an in-depth picture of who Ruth is in all these different roles. Her most meaningful relationship with her late-husband is a love story for the ages. Every person should have such a powerful, unselfish support system. And you have not lived until you see an (then) 84 year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg working out!

The least interesting thing about this documentary for me was the entire “phenomenon” that has taken place in recent years with younger fans dubbing Ginsburg “The RBG”. I’m all for anything that sparks anyone’s interest in the law, politics and government, whether they be young or old, but these kids get just a tad annoying while acting as if they’ve discovered something new every time they find out about something that’s been around for what seems like forever, that they didn’t know about. (Do I sound old??? Oh well…) It was cute and all, and I understand clearly that this new-found fan base is what sparked the entire documentary. I get it. But I think Ruth’s story is certainly strong enough to stand on its own and I would have liked to have heard even more about her and from her. At an hour and 38 minutes, perhaps some filler was needed to get the film up to “feature film” length.

RBG earned 9 bloops out of 10.  If you have an interest in the law or politics or have a budding lawyer or politician in your life, RBG is a must see. Even if you have no interest at all in any of the aforementioned, RBG is a great movie that is worth a watch due to her historical place in and impact on society. Ginsburg’s story is inspirational and gives great insight into the life of a woman who is worthy of much admiration.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Blindspotting – I snagged late preview tickets to see this Wednesday, so the review will be published by Thursday evening
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again  – I really can’t believe I’m going to see this. Enjoyed the first one and they could have left it at that. It better be good!
Eighth Grade – I’ve already seen it and I can tell you right now, I didn’t love it as much as “the critics” or Rotten Tomato users seem to have. Who are these people?

Other Reviews

Widows
The Favourite
Green Book
Halloween
Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders

Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)

Directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom), Won’t You Be My Neighbor is a documentary featuring the revolutionary Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, the beloved children’s show which ran for 33 years (1968-2001). On the show Fred Rogers explored various topics with young viewers through presentations and music in his Neighborhood and in the Land of Make-Believe. The film features clips from the show as well as commentary about Rogers from those who were closest to him.

I know that the word “revolutionary” isn’t one readily associated with Mr. Rogers. He was known as this laid back, genteel, gentle, boring, bland, vanilla, straight-laced, gentleman; but Rogers was, in his own special way, bad ass! Outside of being “Mr. Rogers,” I knew nothing about Fred Rogers before seeing this documentary, but I learned so much and his story is quite inspirational.

Personally, while growing up I never cared for the program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Even as a small child I could not help but wonder what was wrong with this man who played with these odd looking puppets and wasn’t a ventriloquist but cornily voiced some of them as if he were. Also, that King Friday the 13th was mean and scary to me. I did enjoy when there were real people on the show, but I wasn’t willing to sit through those nightmare-inducing puppets to get to the good parts. And, I suspiciously wondered, why the hell does this grown man like small children so much?… Yes, that is how my 3 and 4 year-old mind worked, so you could imagine the mess it is today! 😊

I’m here to tell you, I am a fan now! Not so much of the show (I still don’t think I could sit through those puppets, although it’s been many, many years since I’ve tried), but definitely of the man. What an exceptional human being.  This man was a visionary and pioneer in children’s television programming, the likes of which hadn’t been seen before or since, and may never be seen again. If you aren’t familiar with my personal background (here’s my Welcome message), I have a masters degree in school psychology, so Rogers’ love of children and the concern for their feelings and reactions really touched me. Most adults don’t realize the importance of acknowledge children’s feelings, much less take time to examine, validate, understand or explain them to the child. Due to his own childhood traumas Rogers was able to remember what it was like to be a child full of fear, hope, anger, joy, pain, questions and love. What a gift to still remember that vulnerability and  those feelings into adulthood, and have the ability to draw those emotions out in children and help them deal with them appropriately.

He also had/has plenty of lessons to teach adults, including reminders about kindness, unity, cooperation, civility, manners, friendship, self control, acceptance and love. Concepts that too many of today’s adults seem to have forgotten about or simply abandoned. If you don’t believe me, and I have stated this in previous posts, go on Facebook and look at a the comments under any post with even a hint of political undertones and see the nasty, name-calling rudeness, childish remarks, insults, tantrums, and crudeness. People even bring politics into apolitical posts just to get the fight started. This documentary could not be more timely as there are many examples of Rogers just being a decent human, consistently leading by example on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and in his personal life.

If anyone told me this was going to happen, I would never have believed them. (It has only happened a very few times since I’ve been blogging about movies for the past two years. Moonlight, Miss Sharon Jones, The Lobster (these are the links to my reviews) in 2016, and although I  waited on it and we came so very close it never happened once last year (good thing I wasn’t holding my breath!), but Won’t You Be My Neighbor earned 10 out of 10 bloops. I absolutely loved it. I even want to see it again! It is a beautiful, well made, well organized, focused documentary that stands out and pays an outstanding tribute to a man who richly deserves it.

Even though it’s very early and award season is not upon us yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Won’t You Be My Neighbor is nominated for Best Documentary, and it will be difficult to beat. If you are that person who goes to the movies once in a blue moon, whether you’re a fan of the man or the show or not, do yourself a favor and go see this one. You may not enjoy it as thoroughly as I did, but you will not be disappointed.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Eighth Grade – I’ve already seen it and I can tell you right now, I didn’t love it as much as “the critics” or Rotten Tomato users seem to have. Who are these people?
Blindspotting – I snagged late preview tickets to see this Wednesday, so the review will be published by Thursday evening
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again

Other Reviews

Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG
The Preditor
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Sorry to Bother You (R)

Written and directed by Boots Riley and starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, the comedy/fantasy/sci-fi film Sorry to Bother You is set in an alternate, present-day Oakland, where telemarketer Cassius Green (Stanfield) discovers the key to professional success. While the key opens doors he never imagined, it also puts him smack dab in the middle of a very controversial and dangerous  situation.

This film is complex, with many, many, many, many themes. The story is more about class than race. The owner versus the employee, the one who holds the purse strings vs. the one in need of money, the 99% vs. the 1%, etc. The under educated and disadvantaged, vs. the privileged. Those who have acquired some measure of success and/or wealth vs. those still struggling to do so. The Powers that Be vs. the rest of us. The racial issues were obvious and credible and were still directly related to classism. In this way, this is a very smartly written film.

Sorry to Bother You feels uncomfortable at times, because along with the funny moments there are moments where you question whether you should be laughing. It has this element of pure horror/science fiction that feels ridiculous on one hand, but on the other hand is not so far-fetched that one couldn’t believe that something similar might actually happen. The depiction of this near-future or alternate present day, semi-dystopian society is an exaggeration of where we (as a society) are headed and it’s not very far off from where our society is right now in terms of the things that hold our attention and the things we ignore and let slide.

The acting is solid. It is sometimes intentionally over the top, comical and alarming – at times, all at once. Lakeith Stanfield is so steady it’s always a pleasure to watch him. I’d love to see him play a different type of character for a change of pace – but I won’t knock the man for getting in where he fits in. The supporting cast did a great job, and since I didn’t watch one trailer and had no idea who else was in this movie I got a lot of fun surprises.

While the somewhat original story (I can think of a book it mirrors somewhat, but believe me, you’ll figure it out for yourself when you see it. We’ve all read it, if not at least heard of it and know what the book is about.) is very interesting, Sorry to Bother You is not without problems. Most noticeably, there is one major plot hole I can’t get over which really brought the caliber of the movie down quite a few pegs because there was no explanation as to how this event came about. There were times when Sorry to Bother You tries too hard and feels force. Also, there are so many themes that the story feels as if it needed to be reeled-in in some instances and fleshed out more in others.

Sorry to Bother You earned 8.0 out of 10 bloops. It is not everybody’s cup of tea, for certain. It is weird. But for those of you who like this type of film it is a great movie that shouldn’t be missed. After thinking about it (and you will think about it after watching), it is one of those movies that needs to be watched at least twice to get the full breadth of it, but I don’t think I want to watch it again; at least no time soon. Sometimes a disturbing or thought provoking movie merits a second watch, like The Shape of Water or Get Out or The Lobster (my reviews for each may be found in the links). While Sorry to Bother You may be semi-original, interesting and enjoyable with plenty of depth, it fails to provoke my thoughts enough that I feel that need for a second watch. It’s a great accomplishment for Riley’s first feature film and he certainly started off with a bang. I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Too many to name. I’ll be at the movies all weekend!

Other Reviews

Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster